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Katarzyna Bonda

  • Original Title: POCHLANIACZ
  • Publication date: January 2014
  • Publisher: Muza
  • Country: PL
  • 672 print pages
  • Crime fiction/Thriller


  • Epoch: Mixed
  • Time Period: 20th century, 21st century
  • Location setting: Poland
  • Themes: Life change, Rivalry, Psychological dysfunction, PEOPLE facing life, Search for the truth, Death, Double identity, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Manipulation, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, Corruption, CHARACTERS, Strong Female Character


In 1993 Poland, a brother and sister die within hours of each other in what seems like two unrelated events. Twenty years later, solitary freelance detective Sasha Zaluska, recovering from her encounter with a serial killer seven years prior, links a recent gang murder to the deaths of the siblings two decades ago.


The 4-book series has s been a phenomenon in Poland (over two million copies sold), where it oversold such established authors as Stephen King or Jojo Moyes. Bonda has been called 'the queen of Polish crime' and 'Poland's answer to Jo Nesbo' by the press. The series has won numerous prizes for both specifically crime novels, and, in wider contexts for best fiction and, most notably The Readers' Choice Award and Empik Bestseller award 2015. It's also been nominated for The Angelus Best Central European Fiction Book in 2015.

Translation rights sold: UK, Russia, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Bielorussia, Korea

World English rights sold to Hodder/UK in a 4­ book deal.

Katarzyna has written several Polish crime novels. POCHLANIACZ (Girl at Midnight) was on the Polish best­seller lists for months, beating Stephen King and Jo Nesbo to the top spot. It has sold over 150,000 copies to date and was named ‘the best book of 2014′ by Instytut Ksiazki, who have offered a grant for translation of this title.

POCHLANIACZ is the first in tetralogy about Sasha Zaluska.



Winter in 1993 Sopot, Poland. A teenage girl, Monika, is found dead in a bathtub of a luxurious hotel. She was the girlfriend of Marcin Staron, her brother’s best friend and the nephew of chief Gdansk gang member. The cause of death is a supposed drug overdose. Hours later, her older brother, Przemek dies in what seems to be a very unfortunate car crash. Unable to find a link between the two deaths, the police classifies both as accidents and a terrible coincidence.
Easter 2013. After seven years of self­imposed exile following a traumatic ordeal at the hands of the serial killer, The Red Spider, Sasha Zaluska comes back to the Polish coast. Despite the fact that she has recently finished her PhD in criminal profiling, she is keen to have a quiet life, working in a bank and raising her 8 year old daughter. It all changes, when she is contacted by Pawel ‘Buli’ Blawicki, an owner of a club in Sopot. He claims that his business partner, Needle, an ex­singer famous for a one hit wonder The Girl from the North, wants to kill him. Buli asks Zaluska to find the proof. She reluctantly takes the case, working as a freelance criminal profiler. She arrives at the club too late to be the witness of the shooting, but to her surprise, the victim is not who she was expecting. Very quickly, Sasha realises that the case she has taken is much more complicated and there is a direct link between the recent murder and tragic death of the siblings twenty years ago.

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English translation and English synopsis available

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  • Author’s biography

    Katarzyna Bonda is a bestselling author of crime novels in Poland.

    She has a degree in journalism from Warsaw University and in screenwriting from Łódź Film School.

    Katarzyna is the author of the popular trilogy about a police psychologist Hubert Meyer (THE CASE OF NINA FRANK, ONLY THE DEAD DON’T LIE, THE FLORIST), where she introduced the character of a criminal profiler into Polish fiction.
    In 2014 she published GIRL AT MIDNIGHT, the first book in a tetralogy about a female profiler Sasza Zaluska, which became an overnight bestseller in Poland, beating Stephen King and Jo Nesbo in the charts.